Snooty Frenchmen blast appalling HK

Those snooty Frenchmen are at it again…

Hong Kong has scored almost perfect zeros to rank all but last in a French poll which aims to determine the nicest shopping locations in the world. Of 30 locations, Hong Kong finished 29th…one spot ahead of international shopping mecca, Liberia.

To paraphrase, the poll summarises Hong Kong as a shopping location where streets are noisy, unhygienic and unpleasant and salespeople are routinely rude, unfriendly and distant. Pedestrians were considered unhelpful while the population of Hong Kong as a whole was seen to have a poor attitude.

No surprises there.

Never fear Hong Kong. While first place and top awards elude you in this particular poll, there’s still a very healthy trophy cabinet to be proud of. Let’s take a look at some of Hong Kong’s most well earned distinctions…

Winner 19 straight years in the “What’s that stench??” World Championships
– 2001-2011 1st: Longest single use of a car horn
– 1960-2011 1st: Most disgusting building/ series of buildings in a 1 block area
– 2001-2011 1st: Most uses of the same card at an ATM in a single visit

What's that stench??


If you can make it past Kelly Ip’s tragically user-unfriendly tongue twisting headline, here’s an article from Hong Kong newspaper, The Standard, explaining the French poll:


Store spies trash popular HK shopping streets

Kelly Ip

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A secret survey of 30 world-famous shopping streets puts Hong Kong in 29th place because of the unfriendly attitude of salespeople and poor hygiene.

Singapore’s Orchard Road tops the list followed by Luxembourg’s Liberty Avenue.

A French company sent shopping spies to more than 400 stores in 30 popular shopping streets and asked them to grade their experiences, including customer service and restrooms.

Orchard Road scored high marks in nearly all areas, with excellent customer service in most stores and ultra-clean streets.

The Champs Elysees in Paris ranked only 16th. Researchers reported that customer services in most stores were unsatisfactory and the salespeople did not smile enough.

The results show that while 60 percent of salespeople in the 30 shopping streets were well-mannered, about 30 percent chit-chatted with colleagues in front of customers.

More than 70 percent of all shopping streets offered cultural activities, including concerts.

Also, road construction work being carried out in a large number of shopping streets affected the overall grading to a certain extent, the report said.

The French company conducted a similar survey in 2005 but that only involved 17 shopping streets. Hong Kong was not among them, but Beijing’s Wangfujing Avenue was on the list.

In that survey, Madrid’s Calle Serrano came out top while Wangfujing was bottom.

Tourism lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun said he was disappointed with the result of the latest survey, although he was not surprised. He said the most popular shopping streets in Hong Kong are Nathan Road, Queen’s Road Central and Canton Road, but none of them has a special feature to attract tourists.

“I also fear that customer service in Hong Kong is moving backward,” he said.

“This means not only that pedestrians are unhelpful, but also the overall attitude of Hong Kong people.”

Hong Kong’s service industry should concentrate on hospitality and be equally helpful to both mainland and Western customers, he added.

“We should not ask visitors to speak in our language, but we should try to speak in theirs.”

Shop until you start dropping people left right and center

Some final comments:

‘Customer service in HK is moving backwards’

Here I was telling myself the ‘Hello welcome…Thankyou bye byeeeee’ mantra when you enter or exit a shop in Hong Kong was genuine and warm…but maybe it’s as cold and robotic as I always suspected.

‘Tourism lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun said he was disappointed with the result of the latest survey, although he was not surprised.’

The only surprise is that Hong Kong managed to beat Liberia. What a coup for the city!


Tourism lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun...knows the people of HK all too well

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11 Responses to Snooty Frenchmen blast appalling HK

  1. Cletus says:

    Paul Tse Wai-chun: “I also fear that customer service in Hong Kong is moving backward,”

    This is another funny and ironic quote from some HK government douche who is just not in on the joke. Customer service going backward??? I think he meant to say “Customer service IS backward in Hong Kong”. This guy can call himself a ‘tourism lawmaker’ all he wants, but until he creates a law that puts the onus on businesses and their staff to actually SERVE customers in anything close to a HUMAN way, then he has to just shut the fuck up.

    In fact, I’m going to create my own law that says that ‘Anyone who runs a business in Hong Kong and has to deal with the public is forbidden from claiming that they demonstrate CUSTOMER SERVICE. Anyone in HK who continues to make this claim will be charged with fraud, false statements, and their shop will be immediately closed for crimes against humanity’. Because really, running shops the way they do it here in HK truly is a crime against humanity.

    Staff are completely obsessed with sucking every last penny from you, and as such they make these weird, phony attempts to sidle up to you and get you to buy shit. Once they realize you aren’t going to shell out millions then you become nothing to them, and they treat you as such. No pay, no play. If you are not buying shit from them, or may potentially buy shit, you do not exist. Yes, this happens all over the world, but not in such an obvious, sad, greedy and ‘in-your-face’ way that it does here. You all know what I’m talking about…

    Then there’s the amazing experiences you can have when you go to a place like a mobile phone shop. I think I still have a small tear in my vocal chords from three years ago when I was in the shop last trying to buy a new phone. Wow, they really made the ambiance perfect in there and enticed me to return. Well, they did make me return actually, as they proceeded to overcharge me by several thousand dollars, turn off my phone when I refused to pay, stonewalled me on the ‘service’ help number they provided, and forced me to plead my innocence to them in person in the shop when summoned. Great service!

    I had to run in to the HSBC to grab a few rubles to pay for the phone, and yet another amazing customer service experience was waiting for me there. By that, I mean 130 screaming, greedy, stinking motherfuckers going crazy in the bank. Lines a mile long. Phony, fragile, barely-legal agents milling around and guiding people into even longer queues. And to top it all off, three bank tellers behind bulletproof glass to handle the masses. Three. There were 15 teller windows in this bank, but 12 of them had signs that said ‘Representative unavailable’. Holy shit, the customer service in this city is amazing!!! Hong Kong loves money, so a bank would surely be the place where SUPREME customer service is on display, right? Go into a bank and find out.

    So I say to you, Paul Tse Wai-chun, hello welcome thank you bye byeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

  2. lol

    Here’s another Paul Tse Wai-chun initiated HK customer service strategy: salespeople trained to lurk over your shoulder and shadow you around the shop.

    Well shadow me to the door dipshit…

  3. lol says:

    It’s the mainland Chinese who are now Hong Kong residents trashing Hong Kong. Just because original Hong Kong people and the mainland Chinese people look similar because they’re Chinese, doesn’t mean they are the same. It’s the mainland Chinese people degrading the whole Chinese name as a whole.

  4. I don’t think they look similar. And besides…when it comes to being a grade A moron…HK people more than hold their own…don’t worry about that.

  5. K-man says:

    Dear lol…. actually… I find the mainland Chinese folk nicer… maybe that is because I only visit China as a tourist and must reside in the soulless, heartless pollution paradise that is Hong Kong…. or perhaps… Mainlanders are nicer.

  6. aiya says:

    I find them nicer as well, when im not dodging their childrens feces…..

  7. Anonymous says:

    There is no such things as customer service in Hong Kong, their only training is in how to be rude and try to rip you off

  8. Anonymous says:

    I lived in Shanghai and Hong Kong on and off for 5 years. I find mainland people a lot nicer as well.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was once in Beijing as a tourist during the winter. Walking around the Forbidden City I had only a few touts trying to sell fake fur winter hats an other stuff. They sure stalk you all over the place saying “looka looka” but with a smile on their faces and a good sense of humour. At one point having had enough I turned to one of them and replied “noooo looka looka again!!” They guy pissed himself laughing and left. Here in the lovely, cosmopolitan, world class city of Hongkong shop keepers keep an angry/bored face or just ignore you (when they’re not downright rude). Oh, and in TST you also get the stalking on the streets but they’re 100 times more relentless and rude. Suits, fake watches, fake handbags and massage (aka prostitutes). Sometimes they will let the occasional “pussy massage” or “44D massage” slip. Only 44Dollars? what a bargain!

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